I can think of the following examples off the top of my head:

  • Mogadishu (a disaster)
  • Fallujah (more like a siege followed by walking into an abandoned city)
  • Sadr city (same)
  • Baghdad 2003 (basically a raiding attack followed by a surrender)
  • Battle of Manila (the US outnumbered the enemy 8 to 1 and it was more like a delaying action)
  • Hue (ARVN did most of the fighting)
  • Battles in Seoul (mostly retreats or ROK did the fighting)
  • Aachen (the US outnumbered the defenders 7 to 1 and they surrendered within a week)
  • Some interwar policing actions in Tientsin, Veracruz, Phillipines

  • Some sieges in the Mexican American war that never led to urban warfare

There are a few other battles like bastogne, belleau wood, St lo, etc. but I don't recall these involving any urban combat with US troops.

Is it true that the US army has fought few if any urban battles in its existence? The only two I can really think of are Manila and Aachen.

closed as off-topic by Mark C. Wallace, user13123, Aaron Brick, Denis de Bernardy, justCal Jul 30 '17 at 14:10

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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  • 2
    There were two battles of Fallujah, neither one can be described as "siege followed by walking into an abandoned city" (the first battle was preceded by a siege, however its end result was the withdrawal of US armed forces). Just read the wikipedia article. – Moishe Kohan Jul 30 '17 at 2:17
  • 5
    You give 10 examples and want to know if they are "few"? – Aaron Brick Jul 30 '17 at 6:13
  • 1
    I suspect this question fits into the "I think X, amiright?" anti-pattern in the SE FAQ. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 30 '17 at 10:29
  • 2
    @MarkC.Wallace Perhaps, but if so, it is not a million miles from some current thinking at West Point. The comments about the battles in the question do suggest that they haven't really understood what they've read about the subject though. – sempaiscuba Jul 30 '17 at 11:04
  • Perhaps it would be useful to compare the US military's urban battle experience with others. Does anyone have significant urban battle experience? – jamesqf Jul 30 '17 at 18:19

Urban warfare is a complex and difficult form of warfare, very different from that portrayed in modern computer games like Call of Duty. There are very good reasons why the military (not just in the US) prefers not to fight in urban areas. As far back as the 6th century BC, Sun Tzu observed in his classic work The Art of War that

“the worst policy is to attack cities. Attack cities only when there is no alternative.”

Of course, he was talking about walled cities, but the principle remains true today. The terrain in cities favours the defenders.

That said, you have named a number of significant urban battles in your question, although I wouldn't agree with your assessments of most of them. The Battle of Aachen, for example, was certainly not the walkover that you seem to think it was. Similarly, the fact that X Corps suffered over a thousand casualties during the Second Battle of Seoul indicates that US forces were far more involved in the battle than your question suggests.

Perhaps a good starting point might be for you to read Alec Wahlman's Storming the City: US Military Performance in Urban Warfare from World War II to Vietnam (2015). He focuses on four urban battles between World War II and Vietnam (Aachen (1944), Manila (1945), Seoul (1950), and Hue (1968)), and examines each battle in some detail. Of particular interest in Wahlman's book is the operational context of each of the battles (too many texts seem to describe battles as if they occurred in splendid isolation).

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